Military Plane Crashes in Lake Worth Neighborhood, 2 Pilots Injured

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CREDIT: JAMAINE JIRA SHEPHERD

LAKE WORTH (KXAS) — Two pilots were hospitalized and three people were treated for minor injuries after a military jet crashed in a Lake Worth neighborhood Sunday morning, officials say.

Lake Worth officials received a call at 10:53 a.m. about the downed plane in the 4000 blocks of Tejas and Dakota trails. Both pilots in the plane had ejected.

Both pilots had ejected and one was found in the powerlines with his parachute. The other pilot was found in a nearby neighborhood, Fort Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian said.

One was taken in critical condition by CareFlite to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and an ambulance took the other to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, according to the Fort Worth Fire Department.

The plane came down in a neighborhood about one mile north of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, though it’s not clear where the plane is based.

They were not named, but the office of the Chief of Naval Air Training identified the two people in the Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer as an instructor pilot and a student aviator.

The student’s condition was not known but he was being treated, and the instructor was in stable condition, the office said.

The jet was assigned to Training Air Wing 2 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, and was conducting a routine training flight from the Corpus Christi International Airport, the Chief of Naval Air Training’s office said.

The cause of the crash had not been determined Sunday afternoon, and a safety team was on its way to assess the damage, the office said.

The plane came down in a neighborhood about one mile north of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.

Three houses were damaged when the plane crashed into the backyards, and three residents from the houses were treated for minor injuries and released, according to the Fort Worth Fire Department.

One pilot was found in the powerlines with his parachute. The other pilot was found in a nearby neighborhood, Lake Worth Police Chief JT Manoushagian said.

The crash site is in a neighborhood designated by the military as being in an “accident potential zone,” an area where an accident could occur because it is on approach or departure from the base, Manoushagian said.

Two off-duty Fort Worth firefighters ran to help the pilots, the fire department said, and one woman rushed to her older neighbors to get them away from their homes.

Kaitlyn Deramus lives on Tejas Trail and said she saw two people eject from the plane. She said she went to help her neighbors, one of whom was paralyzed, because she knew they’d need help getting out.

“I knew there are old ladies in that house that it happened at and I was banging on their door but they wouldn’t come out because they thought it was just a car, so I grabbed them out,” Deramus said. “The house behind that, I ran over to the next street and got that lady out of that house because she’s paralyzed and she needed to get out.”

Deramus was shaken but relieved that the residents were not injured.

“I’m having anxiety, but all I wanted to do was save those old ladies because I’ve known them since I was really, really, little,” Deramus said. “They’re OK physically.”

Cara Campbell was blocks away from where the plane crashed when she said she saw one of the pilots land on the powerlines.

“I was in my car on [State Highway] 199 right in front of the donut shop when the pilot landed on the powerlines,” Campbell said. “While driving, I heard a loud explosion and debris was hitting the car.”

Lake Worth Fire Chief Ryan Arthur said the American Red Cross was on scene to help the residents whose homes were damaged.

“It’s very fortunate that it could have been a lot worse if it had been a direct contact into a residence,” Arthur said. “Fortunately that’s not the case.”

Utilities and other services to the roughly two to three-block radius around the crash site will be impacted for a couple of days, he said.

Oncor was working to restore power to the homes, the Fort Worth Fire Department said.

Anyone who finds debris is asked not to touch it, and to call the Lake Worth police non-emergency number at 817-237-1224.

Tyler Carter contributed to this report.

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